PA design panel puts foot down on Gzira tower mast

The committee had already described the proposed antenna as being 'somewhat excessive'

Photomontage shows the East 14 tower in Gzira (right)
Photomontage shows the East 14 tower in Gzira (right)

A nine-metre high communications mast on top of the 22-storey East 14 tower in Gzira “will mar the sleek termination” of the tower, the Planning Authority’s design advisory committee has said.

The conclusion from the PA committee comes after an inspection of the latest photo-montages showing the visual impact of the tower with the added mast on it. The photomontages have still not been made available to the public.

The committee had already described the proposed antenna as being “somewhat excessive” in February before photomontages were presented. The committee is composed of only two members architects, David Mallia and art historian Charlene Vella, after architect Ray Demicoli – himself involved in a number of high-rise developments – stepped down from the committee.

The absence of the photomontages was noted by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage which is calling on the Planning Authority to ensure this further increase in the height of “an already exceptionally high building” does not have a negative impact on views of the Grand Harbour Area.

The original 16-storey tower was the first to be approved from the 2015 high-rise rules. A second application added five storeys last August, making room for five new residential apartments. The East 14 project is owned by various shareholders, among them Sonnet Investments, JPK Investments, Marius Cordina and Paul Darmanin. The directors of the company are Ian Decesare and Marius Cordina.

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